Rusty Toolbox staying put in Madison
Owen Crist threw his mouth guard out of frustration as he walked off the field.
Another “W” was about to be added to the Rusty Toolbox, but it wasn’t the kind he had hoped for.
The Wisconsin managers defeated Iowa’s football managers, 19-13, on Oct. 22 in a flag-football game at the Bubble before roughly 150 fans.
With three seconds left, Wisconsin’s quarterback Ben Anderson found Joe McKillip from 4 yards out for the winning score.
The touchdown was the culmination of a drive that started on Wisconsin’s own 15-yard line with two minutes remaining.
“Patience was really a model there,” Anderson said about the final drive. “We knew we could get it done, and we wanted the Toolbox back in Madison.”
The night may have ended differently for the Hawkeyes had it not been for a blown interception by Iowa’s Ben Dolan on Wisconsin’s winning drive.
With the ball in Iowa territory, Anderson lofted a pass down the right side of the field. Dolan appeared to be in position for an interception, but the intended Wisconsin receiver jarred the ball away from him.
“I probably should have caught it,” Dolan said. “The guy just made a great play and knocked it out of my hands. It’s all about making plays, and he just made a better one than me.”
Despite the blown opportunity, it appeared the Toolbox was going to call Iowa City its home for the year. The Iowa managers were up 13-0 at halftime after quarterback Andrew Flynn connected with Dan Pease and Ben Morrow for touchdowns in the first half.
Wisconsin failed to get on the scoreboard after two quarters of play because of costly penalties stalling drives.
But the roles reversed after halftime. Wisconsin used a scoring drive sandwiched between two Iowa three-and-outs to start the third quarter, shifting the momentum in the Badgers’ favor.
The Hawkeye managers never seemed to recover from the momentum swing. Flynn only completed one pass in the second half, and that was on the last play of the game with Wisconsin’s defense in a prevent formation.
One bright spot for Iowa was Pease. Along with a receiving touchdown, the junior gave Anderson problems all night, recording four sacks. One came on a crucial fourth-down stop with six minutes left in the game, keeping Iowa alive with the score still tied.
After the game, Anderson was quick to give praise to Pease and the rest of Iowa’s squad.
“They had us pretty well-scouted, and we didn’t really have an answer for them,” he said. “They play a unique defense, and we tried to simplify things a little bit and came back.”
Though the Toolbox is a prize possession for these two squads, Wisconsin was playing for a little more than the trophy. The team was without manager Doug Ingels, who lost a friend in a car accident last week after Wisconsin played Ohio State.
“We really played for him,” Anderson said. “It put things in perspective for us, so we went out and practiced hard this week and got after it for him.”
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